COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

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Chadwick Boseman in “42”

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PICKS OF THE WEEK
“42” (PG-13) — The most powerful sports movies often are the ones that show the connection between the game and the nation that loves it. In the story of Jackie Robinson, the actions of a few people make a profound impact on the society at large. This biopic focuses on his entrance into the major leagues, and his first two years there.

The gravity of the story is the real of draw of the film, and the lead performances support the weight. Chadwick Boseman plays Robinson as a guarded and solid man, capable of taking so much abuse without fighting back. Harrison Ford plays Branch Rickey, the manager who picked Robinson. This biopic takes the straightforward approach, leaving out anything that would distract from the significance of the true story.

“Bullet to the Head” (R) — Sylvester Stallone stars as a grumbly anti-hero in a buddy-action flick full of violence! While you could have deduced all this from looking at a poster, one thing you also should consider is that this movie does it well — enough. Stallone is sharper and cooler than he’s been in the “Expendables” movies, the fights are tougher and the movie just looks better than most of the action-nostalgia movies flying around. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s got those ridiculous, well-executed, memorable parts that make fun action-movies stand out — like when Stallone and Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo from “Game of Thrones”) fight with firemen’s axes.

“Wild Bill” (R) — A good movie, with all of the markings of a good Guy Ritchie movie: working-class Brits spouting pithy lines through gravelly accents, high crimes for low rewards, and a fair bit of roughhousing. Bill (Charlie Creed-Mills) gets out of prison to find that his ex-wife has left their two sons all alone. Bill wants to stay out of trouble, but crime has a way of pulling people back in.

The title promises some Western influences, and indeed they come up. The big standoffs have that old spaghetti-Western feel to them. Ultimately, the strongest part of the film is that old bit called the “heart.” You can see the complicated nature of the father-son relationship.

“Evil Dead” (R) — Every year, Hollywood has to dig up some old horror classic, do a pointless remake, and watch us movie nerds shift uncomfortably in our seats. Not because we’re scared or grossed, out, but because we’re conflicted. As much as I want to like anything “Evil Dead” related, this reboot of the 1980s classic just feels hollow. The story is as old as time itself — a handful of young adults go to a remote cabin in the woods, where they unwittingly unleash supernatural evil spirits. It’s loud, heart-pounding and full of guts. It can be enjoyed (perhaps better) if you haven’t seen the original.

TV RELEASES
“Damages: The Complete Fifth Season” (4 Discs)
“Hell on Wheels: The Complete Second Season”
“Masterpiece Mystery: Endeavour Series 1”
“Matlock: The Ninth & Final Season”
“Regular Show: Season 1 & Season 2 (Blu-ray)”

© 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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